you are your own brand

I started putting videos on YouTube covering insurance advice in 2015. Quickly, an audience grew and made an impact on insurance agents with my skills. When I doubled down and focused on my goals, I knew the results would pay off when I got to the other side.

I began put money into advertising and marketing to invest back in my company. Suddenly I needed to grow my team to manage the needs of the business. After hiring more talented people, I delegated tasks, so I fine-tuned my expertise and brand.

I realized that I found more joy helping someone else make sales than when I made a sale. I knew that betting on myself and my company would take me where I wanted to go next. I created 8% Nation to widen the spectrum of agents who I was serving. I became a thought leader in the insurance agent training world.

My inspiration behind my YouTube content is that I love having a personal brand, and I love assisting others. Being consistent with my video content, no matter what it looked like, held me accountable for the goals I set for myself.

When I find my passion, stay active, and work towards my goals, creativity flows out of me.

What do you do to build a personal brand?


7 Traits of Successful Agents

How far are you willing to go to be successful? If you follow and put these seven things into action, you will reap the rewards. I am sharing with you seven different traits of highly successful insurance agents.

Willing to Take Risks

Successful people are willing to bet on themselves.  

The Ability to Put In the Work

How likely are you to put in the action, day in and day out?

I can always do more, but I show up every single day to find my balance to accomplish my commitments.

Able to Admit When Wrong

Nobody ENJOYS being wrong, but successful people admit and learn from mistakes.

You have to be wrong to succeed.

Willing to Adapt

When things are not going well, are you able to take it in strides?

 Willing to Delegate

It’s good to have your hands in many areas of your business. By delegating, you can have others perform at their best while you fine-tune what’s next. 

 Willing to Invest in Themselves and Their Business

When you commit ALL IN – a snowball effect will happen by investing in yourself.

Talk About Ideas

When surrounded by others of likemindedness, my last thought is negativity or gossip.

Instead, I want to talk about what I want to do, where I want to go, and what is next for me.

A successful person is excited by starting something new and growing.

BONUS: See the Course – Stay the Course

No matter what happened during the day, if you didn’t have a sale, if you lack motivation or you’re scared of failure – you need to stay the course. Are your thoughts and conversations big, positive, exciting? If not, you might want to soul search what changes need to be made.

Being thankful is essential to invest back in yourself. Make sure to implement these seven things in your business so that you can see success NOW. What do you think about these seven traits? 

Leave your results of these seven things in the comments below. To watch this video click here:


an image with text that says 5 books all insurance agents should and a picture of cody askins.

For anyone that is looking to be better or to think bigger, I am detailing my favorite books that I have either read or listened to. I wholeheartedly believe in self-improvement, personal development, and working to be my best self. I urge you to take the information within the books and use the data to make adjustments and tweak it to better tailor it to your business. 

These are the five books that I recommend in no uncertain order: 

The Art of Closing the Sale by Brian Tracy – I listened to this every single day in order to get better. I engrossed myself in the methodology, and I would send this book to new agents when they were new and training in the business. 

The 10 X Rule by Grant Cardone – this book gives you the push you need to challenge yourself and your team. The advice within this book asks you to step outside of your comfort zone to see the bigger picture within your reach.

How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger – this book provides you with nuggets of wisdom that will take you to where you want to go to be successful.

There’s No Plan B For Your A Game by Bo Eason – this book challenges you to think bigger and go for it. He writes specific methods for achievement, such as making commitments and eliminating distractions so that anyone with a willingness to put in the work can achieve success. 

Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort – reveals his step-by-step sales and persuasion system that is proven to turn anyone into money eyed and leading sales individuals. 

Give these a read and comment below what you thought about them.

Close more insurance sales with these tonality tips

An image of a phone on a desk with a hand dialing numbers.

Any telesales manager will tell you tonality matters when making insurance sales calls.

But just sounding incredibly energetic the whole time isn’t going to cut it.

You have to know when to add inflection into your voice and when to bring a more serious tone to the phone call. How can you practice this part of your calls? We’ve got some ideas for you.

Record your insurance sales calls

Our founder, Cody Askins, used to place a recorder on his desk and record his half of the phone calls to listen to himself later. Hearing how you sound on the calls may be weird at first but stick with it. You’ll not only pick up when you let your tonality lapse but you’ll hear where you can improve verbiage and etc.

There are also apps you can download for free to record your calls on your cell phone. However, be sure your state allows this because it could be illegal. You may also have to let the other person know you are recording.

Put a mirror near the area you make calls

This is an old trick but can be a nice reminder.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “smile and dial.” So, having a mirror nearby can help remind you to smile (when appropriate) and improve your posture while calling. You may not always be cognizant of your frown or slouching.

Role playing

We must say it at least a couple times a week. But role playing is helpful in so many ways. You get to rebuttal objections, improve your phrasing, and work on your tonality all in one fell swoop. Doing it in the morning helps avoid “practicing” on your first few insurance leads of the day, missing out on sales.

Role playing helps not only you but, if you practice with fellow insurance agents, the other participant. So, if you have an office — you should be pushing to do this every single day.

If you need more help than just improving your tonality to close more insurance sales, Cody Askins’ foremost passion is training insurance agents on how to be more successful.

Habits of a successful insurance agent

an image of a man sitting in a chair with a laptop on his lap. He is looking away and smiling.

We all want to be a successful insurance agent. However, not everyone is practicing the proper daily habits to accomplish their goals.

One of the obvious ones is a good work ethic. You obviously have to put in the time to prospect, call the prospects, closing deals, and maintaining the relationships.

Let’s look at the not-so-obvious daily habits you should practice:

A successful insurance agent learns from a mentor

Having a mentor who is where you want to be has proven time and time again to be a good tactic. A successful mentor provides a road map to the destination you wish to reach. They can teach you how to overcome difficult objections, how to properly build your agency, and anything you need to know to reach your idea of a successful insurance agent.

Pay attention to digital communication

You want to stay top-of-mind and reach your customers wherever they interact with brands. The most successful brands now are the ones who were able to reach customers on social media first and effectively. So, don’t dismiss the newest apps or social media. Don’t be afraid to take risks because it can pay off in a big way. A decade ago, salespeople would’ve thought it tacky to text prospects. Now, it’s an effective sales tactic.

Train daily

So many insurance agents are missing out on sales because they are jumping into their day without warming up first. If you work out, you don’t start putting up heavy weight right away. You stretch or put up light weight to warm your muscles up first. You should warm up before trying to sell policies too. Role play with other people in your office, listen to your calls and see how you can improve, listen to audio books, or whatever you can do to get ready. Don’t miss out on sales by bumbling your first appointment or call. Practice every day and watch your skill improve as well as your close percentage on the first call or appointment of the day.

Achieving your income goals is much easier with blueprints of success. Cody Askins, a successful insurance agent himself, provides accountability, direction, and training to agents in his Success Society program.

Pre-AEP Medicare sales tip for Medicare agents

an image of a road sign that says "open enrollment ahead." The sign is just before a curve in the road. There is beautiful fall foliage all around.

There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for and improve your AEP Medicare sales.

Preparation is going to be key as there is seemingly a gold rush for Medicare. More and more insurance agents are wanting to sell Medicare because of the growing number of 65-year-olds.

So, to get a leg up, you’re going to have to prepare for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

Pre-AEP Medicare sales tip: Warm them up

Before the Annual Enrollment Period begins, warm up your prospects.

You’re likely thinking, “Isn’t that illegal?” Not if you’re careful.

What you are not allowed to do before Oct. 15 is sell. However, there is no sanction or fine for simply keeping in touch.

So, to gain an advantage on all these newbies and your other competition for AEP Medicare sales is push some of your marketing dollars towards an earlier date.

There is going to be tons of advertising throughout the AEP. Depending on the competition level in your area, a Medicare prospect could be receiving several pieces of direct mail advertising a day.

That’s not counting TV ads, digital marketing, print advertisement in their newspaper, and etc.

However, there will be much less struggle for attention beforehand.

So, let’s look at what you can and can’t do.

How to legally advertise before AEP

You cannot directly sell your products before Medicare’s AEP.

That means you cannot have any of these things in your advertisements before Oct. 15:

  • Specific benefits regarding your policies
  • Pricing for your policies
  • Any call-to-action regarding sales

What you can do is have friendly reminders about the upcoming AEP, encourage them to inform themselves regarding Medicare, and maybe put a little information about your business (without any call-to-action, though).

While this sounds like a waste of your marketing budget, what it does is show the prospect you are not a fly-by-night operation. Your business will have a better recall when it comes time for them to make a decision regarding their Medicare coverage. Some of the prospects you’ll hit will notice you’ve been reaching out to them a lot longer than others, who showed up when it was most convenient.

And same as campaigns you run during AEP, these advertisements are perfectly legal to run across all platforms of media.

If you’re looking for other pre-AEP Medicare sales tips, Cody Askins works with some of the top Medicare agents in the country and can help you become a power player as well.

Should a new insurance agent hire an appointment setter?

an image of a man on the phone, writing in a notebook.

New insurance agents ask all the time whether it would make sense for them to hire an appointment setter.

There is a simple answer to this question: if you can see that it will help, then yes.

It is ultimately going to come down to a math problem.

First, you’re going to need to have the money to cover the position. Sounds obvious, but you need to be making enough money that you are able to continue paying yourself and then cover another person. If you aren’t a good closer, it’s probably not a good idea to try to juggle paying another salary.

Now, let’s get to that math problem.

Cost to benefit of an appointment setter

If you are ready to hire an appointment setter, first you have to decide how you will pay them. Will you pay them by the hour or pay them commission?

Our suggestion is to pay them an hourly wage and, if you can afford it, have them work about 20 hours a week setting appointments for you.

If it sounds costly, it really isn’t. Suppose you pay your appointment setter $12 per hour. That’s $240 per week. As long as they’re setting appointments at a good clip for you, you’ll quickly make that salary up if you’re able to close even 25% of them. At that rate, you could even offer some sort of bonus for kept appointments.

Smiling and dialing is a unique skill. If you aren’t that great at it, find someone who is and you do what you’re best at — closing.

Know your numbers

To make sure this will continue to be fruitful venture for both yourself and your appointment setter, you need to know your numbers:

  • What is an average commission you make from a sale?
  • How many of those sales do you need to make to cover your salary and the appointment setter?
  • What is your average close percentage? (How many appointments do you sit with before you make a sale?)
  • So, how many kept appointments do you need?
  • Say about only a third of your appointments are kept (or whatever average you typically see), how many appointments do you need them to then set?

This now needs to be your weekly system. In the meantime, you can work to improve your close percentage and they can also work on keeping more appointments. Let me know if I can help in that department.

I work with insurance agents every week on systems they can use with an appointment setter, improving close percentage, and much more.

How to brand yourself as an insurance agent

an image of a man showing you his t-shirt. the t-shirt says "you are your own brand."

When it comes to how to brand yourself as an insurance agent, a lot of agents don’t think it is important.

That’s right, many agents either don’t take it seriously or aren’t exactly sure where to begin.

It’s importance is clear when you think about it: Website design, marketing materials, even the header on the invoices you send your clients should have a clear, cohesive design that identifies the brand you’ve established.

How to brand yourself successfully

Branding yourself in the insurance industry requires two things (initially):

  1. Tells the customer what makes you different than the competition
  2. Makes your mission statement apparent

For example, think about a McDonald’s and Burger King commercial. They’re both fast-food burger joints. But you know the differences without me telling you, don’t you?

This becomes incredibly important when it comes to selling insurance because it’s a very attractive industry. As such, thousands of people each year get their licenses and go forth to sell insurance.

To help you figure out what it is you want your brand known for, ask yourself:

  • What problem in this industry do I solve?
  • How do I solve that problem differently than anyone else?

Still having trouble? Ask your customers if you’ve already started your business. If you haven’t started your business yet, identify a specific problem that matters to you and set out to solve it.

Be sure your mission statement is specific.

For example, great customer service is NOT a good mission statement. Instead, say something like: We call ahead of premium increases so you can make informed decisions.

What to do after

Once you have your brand decided, it’s time to take action.

That means coming up with a marketing plan that conveys your messaging.

Marketing videos, social media ads, and whatever else you think will be an effective medium to get your brand out there and in front of the people you can help.

Your messages should focus on informing, not selling.

Maybe a testimonial video ad that tells a true story of how you went above and beyond for a client.

Or you can do infographic ads for Facebook and Instagram.

Just focus on putting the attention on what you can do for the clients and what they need.

If you still don’t know how to brand yourself as an insurance agent or need help getting started, our Success Society members get lots of help from me and my marketing company.

Make more insurance sales through self-discipline

an image of a man drawing on large pieces of paper that look to be like building plans.

In the insurance sales world, it is imperative that agents are self-starters and keep their foot on the gas.

Going 100 percent every day is not easy, however, and sometimes the drive just isn’t there some days.

Cody Askins has three rules he uses to help with his self-discipline:


Write down your insurance sales goals every day

Physically writing your goals down, studies show, commits them to memory. Doing it every day should make it foolproof.

Want to increase your close rate on your final expense leads? Write down a goal to track your numbers and identify where you’re coming up short in insurance sales (not enough touches, setting appointments, or closing at the end) and then make it a goal to beat your percentage each week. Find material to study on how to close final expense leads and practice through role-playing or other means of practice.

Be sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.


Make it public

This may be scary but, to paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, nothing worth doing comes easy.

Making your goals public puts pressure on you to commit and accomplish them.

Post on your personal social media that you’re struggling with your insurance sales and want to convert more of your final expense leads. Post your results each week.

Don’t worry about their reactions. This is for you, not them. People who doubt you and post negative comments are usually jealous because you aren’t afraid to go after your goals like they are. Instead, use it as fuel and proof that you are uncommon and bound to be part of the 8% in this business that make it longer than 3 years.


Don’t add time

DO NOT waver on your deadlines and put off starting your goal.

The time to jump on your goals is NOW when you feel the urge to accomplish them. Especially in the insurance sales world. Pointing back to the example of improving conversion rate on final expense leads, doing so would mean more money, right? So, wouldn’t it make sense to start working towards that goal as soon as possible?

These are just three rules that Cody follows. There are many other blogs or books offering advice on how to accomplish your goals but it all boils down to: Do it and do it now.

If you need a coach to help you stay accountable and provide you with more insurance sales tips, Cody’s Success Society is what you’ve been looking for.

Objections and why you’re getting them

Objections? We can help!

Do you get a lot of objections when you call your insurance leads?

Are they typically the same ones over and over? Then it may not be a coincidence.

Many insurance agents are quick to blame a lead vendor when it comes to their lack of sales when it comes to insurance leads. However, if your leads are exclusive to you, delivered in real-time, and generated with your demographic needs then it’s not the vendors fault.

Sure, that sounds awful convenient but it’s true. A lead is simply someone who showed interest in your product by submitting a form. That’s it. Vendors can’t make them want to buy. They just gathered their info for you and sent it to you. It’s your job to sell them.

So, let’s help you understand why you’re getting lots of the same objections.

Why insurance leads give objections

First, you’re going to get objections on almost all of your calls. If you’ve been an insurance agent for any length of time, you can deflect some of them and understand it’s a natural thing. In fact, people who buy will give you more objections than those who don’t.

But if you’re getting a lot of objections that end calls for you and they’re the same type, we’re going to go over several common mistakes that will cause a reluctance to purchase a policy.

    1. Information overload

Are you talking price, health, and everything they need to know over the phone before the appointment? That’s a lot for someone to process when they simply filled out a form. Your goal on the phone should be simply to set the appointment.

    2. Not building enough value

If you’re at the appointment and they say they need to think about it, you may have given them information overload by offering too many options (try to stick to 3). But if they say they don’t want it or don’t need it, you may not be showing them enough value. Try showing five benefits before you go into price next time. Then, ask them if they like each one and make them pick a favorite.

    3. You didn’t address their needs

Make sure you are doing a full needs assessment at the beginning of your appointments. It builds the relationship and gives you all their pain points. DO NOT MOVE ON until you feel like the relationship is ready and you know why they are shopping for a policy. The perfect way to start the needs assessment is by simply asking, “What got you thinking about this?”

Now that you know a little bit about why prospects bring up objections, Cody can help you rebuttal your more specific objections and help you get less of them.